Coming to the exurbs
Since I moved to Brookside from Washington DC, I have been fascinated by the way this neighborhood has been able to strike the right balance between a peaceful life, surrounded by pristine nature and the opportunities for professional development and meaningful connections. The harmony and beauty that surrounds this area awoke the historian in me. So I started to look at the history of Fauquier county, a search that has helped me to understand and appreciate even more this community. I invite you to take a quick tour throughout history lane that might give you a historical perspective of this gorgeous neck of the woods.
Who used to live here, and why Fauquier?
When I decided to move to Fauquier County, the first thing that struck my curiosity was how French it sounded. Aware that this area has always been British, I found myself doing some research.
It was in 1608 when the first European described what is now known as Fauquier County. English soldier, explorer, governor, Admiral of New England, and author Captain John Smith, depicted in detail the original population of this area, with the dominant presence of the Whonkentia tribe. But following bloody disputes with the neighboring Iroquois and Conoy tribes, the Six Nations relinquished the entire region including modern Fauquier to Virginia Colony at the Treaty of Albany, in 1722.
Fauquier County was established on May 1, 1759, and named for Francis Fauquier, a British Renascence man of French descent and Lieutenant Governor of Virginia at the time, who, according to legend, won the land in a poker game.
The Civil War
Due to its strategic location near Washington DC, several American Civil War battles took place in Fauquier County, including the First Battle of Rappahannock Station, the Battle of Thoroughfare Gap, the Battle of Kelly’s Ford, the Battle of Aldie, the Battle of Middleburg, the Battle of Upperville, the First and Second Battle of Auburn, the Battle of Buckland Mills, and the Second Battle of Rappahannock Station.
The growth of Fauquier in the Twentieth Century
The population of the county was quite stable from 1790 to 1970, with a modest increase of about 9,000 people in 180 years from 17,892 to 26,375. This in contrast with the growth between 1970 and 1980, in which the population increased by roughly 9,000 people for a total of 35,889 in just a decade. Nowadays, Fauquier County has a population estimated of 70,675 inhabitants.
Despite its closeness to other Northern Virginia counties and Washington DC, Fauquier County has been able to preserve the charm and beauty of times gone, with pristine landscapes and historic buildings that have been depicted in movies. The county offers the kind of amenities and well-planned housing development that attracts families and individuals alike.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Fauquier County has an area of 651 square miles, of which 647 square miles is land and 3.8 square miles is water. The county offers the best of both worlds to its residents, a peaceful and breathtaking nature with timeless traditions and a welcoming community, and access to the main urban areas of Northern Virginia and DC.
In the last few years, there has been increased growth in Warrenton and New Baltimore. Particularly the subdivisions of Brookside, my new neighborhood, and Vint Hill in the eastern part of the county. Offering the advantages of exurb living with the convenience of its closeness to important metropolitan areas. Many residents have jobs that are outside the county but are attracted to the beauty and peace they find in Fauquier. The average commute to work is about 40 minutes.
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